hydraulic hose vs copper tube for steering system

Discussion in 'Inboards' started by Northeaster, Jun 9, 2016.

  1. Northeaster
    Joined: Sep 2011
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    Location: Eastern Canada

    Northeaster Senior Member

    Hi folks,

    I am putting a used Capilano 1250 helm and 175 series ram in the 25' power boat currently being built.
    manuals (and Tony's tips from Seaboard Marine...) recommend use of copper tubing for most of the runs, and then short flexible hose at each end to connect to helm and ram (to combat vibration, etc).
    it does state that if/when soft hose is to be used, use reinforced hose with minimum expansion.

    I have about 16 ft runs so I can use about 14 ft runs of copper with a foot of flex hose at each end, but I am considering just using the whole 16ft of reinforced hose (spec'd at much higher than the minimum 1000psi working / 5000psi breaking required).

    So, how common is it to use all hose rather than tube or pipe??? Is it widely accepted or done with decent results? I can't imagine the reinforced hose would have so much expansion as to create excessive play / lag,etc in the steering.....but I have no experience with it..
     
  2. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    Location: Milwaukee, WI

    gonzo Senior Member

    For short runs like what you have, all hose is OK. The copper pipe will expand less, so the steering is more crisp. However, you will only notice a difference in very long runs.
     
  3. Northeaster
    Joined: Sep 2011
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    Location: Eastern Canada

    Northeaster Senior Member

    thanks Gonzo for the confirmation!
     
  4. kapnD
    Joined: Jan 2003
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    Location: hawaii, usa

    kapnD Senior Member

    I know Tony is the ultimate guru on this stuff, but I tend to differ on this point.
    I like to use hard air/hydraulic tubing, I think it's nylon, the stuff that trucks use for air brake systems. Reinforced hose is pricey, heavy and surprisingly stiff.
    Long hidden runs of copper tubing are not my idea of safe installation(external corrosion, metal fatigue, vibration damage, etc), and the "crisp feel" of the steering will not suffer perceptibly.
    If you use an autopilot, mount the pump close to the ram, and there will be no chance of a flex issue.
    Don't hesitate to go large on the tubing diameter, this has much more to do with the "feel" of the steering.
     
  5. Northeaster
    Joined: Sep 2011
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    Location: Eastern Canada

    Northeaster Senior Member

    I appreciate the additional interest, and advice. I had not thought of that nylon type tubing. But, I already bought and installed very good quality reinforced hydraulic hose. Only issue is my used ram leaks and I am having trouble dismantling it.... see other thread.... Also building a trailer so have not looked at the ram in the last week or so.
     

  6. michael pierzga
    Joined: Dec 2008
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    Location: spain

    michael pierzga Senior Member

    Metal is also cheaper and more durable. Epoxy painted Steel pipe for hydraulic lines are common. Only the ends of short flexible hose links

    Working with Metal pipe is a skill. Often boat builders dont have this skill so flex hose is used.

    You might ask around...i see a type of hard plastic being used as hyraulic steering pipework
     
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